Monday, April 28, 2008

Dean's Anti-islamic Bigotry

I couldn't help watching Meet The Press on Sunday to watch Dean explain the meltdown. But I couldn't believe this quote pertaining to McCain's "100 years in Iraq" vs. Germany, Japan, Korea presence:
Secondly, if Senator McCain believes that you can occupy a country like Iraq for a hundred years without having a long war and violence and our troops being hurt and, and killed, I think Senator McCain is wrong.

So, do I understand Dean correctly: Iraqis (or Muslims) cannot (or do not want to) live in peace. Isn't the above statement the epitomy of "soft bigotry" in action? And let me get this right, we can sit down and negoatiate with Iranians, but they any agreement we come to won't matter because they can't live in peace anyway?

Wright Dukes it Out

A few years ago when we in the great state of Louisiana had the dubious choice between Edwards and Duke for governor. There was a nice bumper sticker I remember seeing: "Vote for the Crook, It's Important". So, I went in the voting booth, held my nose, and voted for the crook. (Note: I voted for Roemer in the open primary).

Now, we knew Edwards was a criminal and David Duke said a lot of things that "made sense". Duke had also somewhat repudiated the things he had done in the past as being youthful indiscretions. However, given the totality of Duke's past and that the motivations of his rhetoric were likely dubious, I simply could not vote for him.

I know Wright is not running for office, but Obama's lengthy tenure under his tutelage makes me wonder what motivations are behind Obama's rhetoric.

A bit about myself, my wife and I are white and we have four children, two biological and two adopted. The two adopted children are biracial (black/white), so, while I can never understand having dark skin, I do get some vicarious idea from rearing my children. Luckily we live in the New Orleans area, where there are many hues and shades of people and race relations is often very good.

Perdigao's Web

Since I'm just a simpleton from New Orleans, I thought I'd try to graph out the relationships from Patterico

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

BSG Ships of Light: Then and Now

As mentioned in the Galactica Quorum ( there is a similarity between the original series' ships of light and Kara's artwork.

compared to a screenshot of Starbucks visionary artwork.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

BSG pays homage to TNG

Anybody else see the homage paid to Star Trek The Next Generation by Battlestar Galactica. Notice the number on the weapons locker where the four skin-jobs met:

Friday, April 18, 2008

No Environmental Outrage over Bonnet Carre Spillway opening

I drove over the Bonnet Carre Spillway this morning and the water is high and flowing at a pretty good pace. For those of you who don't know southern Louisiana, the spillway is a man-made channel a little over a mile wide between the Mississippi River and Lake Ponchartrain, located about 25 miles upstream of New Orleans. The Army Corps of Engineers maintains the spillway for recreation purposes when it is not being used for its designed purpose, which is to divert part of the Mississipi River to the lake during very high river stages. This reduces the possibility of the river breaching or topping a levee in the more populated downstream Jefferson and Orleans Parishes.

The last time the spillway was opened was back in 1997. At that time, I remember the environmentalist uproar on how it was going to kill all the oysters and upset the delicate-ecological-balance. (Never mind that mankind had already upset the delicate-ecological-balance when the river levees were built. For thousands or millions of years, the river had periodically overflowed its natural banks, self-diverting to the lake).

Of course, now in 2008, two-and-a-half years after Katrina, which put 75% of the area underwater, I do not hear ANYTHING from anybody about upsetting the delicate-ecological-balance. Even if the spillway had not been opened, the experts believe that it is unlikely that the levees would have breached or over-topped. But in the post-Katrina world that we live in, even a teeny-weeny chance of causing flooding completely overshadows the delicate-ecological-balance argument.

I beleive environmental concerns should be part of the decision making process, but they should not be the only or even the overwhemling concern.

Someone who fervently believes in man-made global warming might apply this example to the global warming debate as follows: even if there is only a small chance that global warming will harm the earth's biosphere, shouldn't we do something to prevent that harm. OK, I agree, with the following two caveats:

(1) we positively know that the actions we take will reduce the potential for the harm to occur and/or will reduce the severity of the predicted consequences. In the levee situation, we absolutely know that opening the spillway will divert water around New Orleans and thus will reduce the risk to New Orleans. I do not know that the actions proposed by GW proponents will indeed reduce potential risks.

(2) The costs of our preventative actions are relatively well understood and the future costs of inaction are also well understood. In that way, as a society, we can do a cost-benefit analysis to decide if we want to take the preventative actions. In the case of the levee, we know that flooding the brackish Lake Ponchartrain with fresh river water does have an affect on the flora and fauna. Oyster beds and fish schools are affected. We also know from experience that these effects correct themselves after the spillway is closed. I don't think we yet have enough information to make a decision regarding "Global Warming" or "Climate Change".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How New Orleans and Amsterdam are Alike

Having visited Amsterdam, NL, I came away with the following observations on the similarties between New Orleans and Amsterdam:
  • Both are below sea level. Canals, levees, dams and dikes everywhere to keep the city from going underwater.

  • Both have a distinctive European feel -- Amsterdam, well, because its in Europe and New Orleans because it was once ruled by the French.

  • Landmark church in the middle of the debauchery: Oude Kerk in the Red Light District vs. St. Louis Cathedral in the Vieux Carre (French Quarter)

  • Napolean Bonapart installed the Netherlands government (led by his brother) in Amsterdam and installed a colonies (what was to become the Louisiana Purchase) government in New Orleans.

  • Coffee shops on every corner (of course thats true of most American cities these days) and, well ok, the American and Dutch menus in this regard are a bit different.

  • Amsterdam has boobs behind glass, New Orleans has boobs on balconies.

However, there is one major difference. . . the natives of Amsterdam speak English far better than the natives of New Orleans.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dan Rather Loon Star

Yet another book title photoshoped (well actually, gimped):

Globe Warms to Climate Change

What happens when to the global warming advocates when it becomes obvious that the globe is not warming. Simple: change the term.

This is by no means a rigorous analysis, but just a few minutes using the Google News search engine. So hopefully anyone else can re-create the results.

The chart below was developed using Google News: Advanced News Search (for the end or March and April 2008) and Google News: Advanced News Archive Search (for the first part of March 2008 and earlier). For each quarter, beginning in 2000 through what is available through May 2008, I performed searches for the phrases "global warming", "climate change" and both of the phrases together. The numbers from Google News searches are at the end of this post.

Then to get a total of the number of articles that have one phrase or the other or both, add the number of "Global Warming" hits to the number of "Climate Change" hits and subtract the number of hits that contain both.

Next I ploted the percentage of each phrase to the total number of posts. This "normalizes" the data since there are far more news articles posted in 2008 than were posted in 2000.

Note that the percentage of articles that contains both phrases has remained roughly constant at around 15% to 20%. But the number of articles that only used the phrase "global warming" in 2000 was around 55% falling to about 30% recently. Conversely, the percentage of articles that only used the phrase "climate change" in 2000 was about 30%, rising to nearly 60% recently.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pics from RoboSapien filming in New Orleans

I snapped the attached pictures of the cute lil robot from the film scene near 850 Gravier St. in New Orleans
Notice both the metallic-looking and the "green-screen" versions of the robot.